Look, 2021, I’m not trying to put any pressure on you but, geez, 2020 was a really lousy, stinking, rotten, sucky year. Yes, I am expecting better of you but I also understand that things do not always go as planned. Still, do your best, okay? There are a lot of folks around the globe hurting because of what your predecessor gave us. Is it too much to ask for more good than bad over the next 12 months? Thanks for your consideration.
Here We Go Again
With temperatures dropping steadily and occasional skiffs of snow in the air, I pulled my wool Winter socks out of storage last week. If you have been a devotee of this blog (who isn’t except most of the world?) you know that one pair of wool socks, formerly known as Bert Left and Ernie Right, became an integral part of my pandemic survival plan.
I decided on the first day I wrote this blog to wear them daily without washing them for as long as possible. At the time I wasn’t sure how long that could have been. It could have been until I was given the choice of sleeping in the garage or in the house. Or it could have been until the dogs stopped coming to me for a head scratch or doggie treat. Or it might have been until the wool fabric rotted and fell off my feet or, alternatively, my feet rotted and poured out of the socks.
As it turned out, “as long as possible” was until May 27, 2020 and Day 72 of my daily blog-a-thon. Bert and Ernie went unwashed for the first 72 days of the pandemic. It was an experiment in my endurance, our household’s collective sense of smell, and, more importantly, Clemencia’s tolerance of her husband’s ill-considered behavior. Finally, in the Day 72 blog Bert and Ernie were no more. They blew it. They sneaked out of the house on their own without masks like too many Stupid People have done in the months of the pandemic. I could not longer abide such risk-taking and insubordination so they disappeared into the washing machine and dryer, emerging as new, but well worn, socks.
Or so I thought.
As I was putting my wool socks into my dresser drawer I heard a familiar voice:
- Bert: Hey Bonehead, where ya’ been?
- Ernie: Yeah, what did you do to us?
- Me: What?!? You two are still alive?
- Ernie: Well, not really alive, I mean, we ARE a figment of your imagination but, hey, we are a pretty real figment.
- Me: It can’t be, I put you in the washing machine myself and I saw you tumbling in the dryer.
- Bert: Uh-huh. We know. And we aren’t very appreciative of it…though we were really glad to be off your feet.
- Ernie: So, Bonehead, where have we been and what did we miss?
- Me: You’ve been in a box in the closet with my other wool socks that are too heavy to wear in warm weather.
- Bert: Did we have our own box? We deserve our own box, you know. I mean, hey, people only read your drivel because of us.
- Me: No, you didn’t have your own box. You were in with all the others.
- Ernie: That’s a fine way to treat us, Bonehead. Think of all we did for you!
- Me: Did for me!?!? You’re kidding right? Look at what I did for you! I gave you two personalities and brought you to life…even if only in my imagination.
- Bert: Big deal! We didn’t need you for that, Bonehead. We came to life to help you out.
- Me: Help me out!?! You almost killed me! You ran away without masks, got bored, came back, and waltzed in the door like you were entitled to be treated like the Prodigal Sons. No way! You might have brought the virus into our home.
- Ernie: Hey, there was only one Prodigal Son, you numbskull. And did we bring the virus here?
- Me: No
- Ernie: Then what are you whining about?
- Bert: That’s enough of your complaining about all the good things we’ve done for you. Now, what did we miss while we were stuffed away with all those “other” socks?
- Me: You missed a Presidential election. It looks like we are really going to get a new President of the United States.
- Ernie: Is it that “Bootahedge” guy (or whatever his name was)? I kind of liked him.
- Bert: Is it Bernie? I liked his hair and how stern he always looked. My kind of guy!
- Me: No, it is Joe Biden as President and Kamala Harris as Vice-President.
- Bert: Oh, well, that sounds fine. What’s going to happen with that Trumpet guy?
- Me: You mean “Trump”?
- Bert: If you say so.
- Me: He has been doing everything he can to contest the election and say that he won…even though he lost by 7 million votes and in the Electoral College.
- Ernie: How can he do that?
- Me: Well, he can protest it but he can’t prove there was any cheating or that he actually won, so it seems Biden and Harris will be inaugurated in a couple of weeks.
- Bert: What about the virus thing? I’m feeling a little congested myself.
- Ernie: Bert, that’s only because we’ve been cramped into a box by Bonehead where we had to breathe in the fibers of other wool socks.
- Me: The pandemic is roaring on. So far there are about 350,000 people dead and over 20 million cases of COVID-19 that have been reported in our country.
- Bert: Wow, that seems like a lot. Hey, Ern, I’m thinking we need to go back into that box for a while, you know?
- Ernie: Sounds like a good idea, Bert. Hey Bonehead, can you give us a lift back into the box.
- Me: Nope! In fact, I’m wearing you today!
- Bert and Ernie: Oh, great! Ugh!
If you haven’t already seen this, I think you’ll enjoy Dave Barry’s Year in Review for 2020. Of course, if you have already seen it, you may enjoy reading it again. I love the subtitle of this year’s article: “And we thought past years were awful.” That kind of says it all but Dave Barry says it in his own inimitable way. Enjoy!
The Religion News Service published a piece titled What Jesus Means to Me as a Muslim. It is not a long piece to read. It is quite thoughtful and interesting. It also has expanded my own understanding of Islam, for which I am appreciative.
It has been a while since I’ve included any song parodies in the Drivel. However, I did find one that I thought was share worthy. This is from Chris Mann and it is The 12 Days of Quarantine.
Have you ever wanted to yodel? Who hasn’t! Here’s a brief video from a young yoderler named Cassidy that will give you the basics.
The View from Jeff
I’ve got two fun Jeff Logan originals for this blog. One is Christmas themed and the other New Years. Hey, by the way, don’t forget to check out Jeff’s Instagram page for more of Jeff’s fun and funny work.
I agree with Jeff. I’m so glad to have 2020 in the rearview mirror. As I was out walking yesterday I smelled a friend of mine nearby and followed my nose to his back deck where we chatted for a few minutes (and, yes, we were more than 6 feet apart). I know…it sounds terrible to say that I could smell him but I did, but allow me to explain. He smokes a distinctive brand of cigar and though I don’t know the brand, I knew it was him from about 50 yards away.
He is about four years older than me and we have played golf together on a few occasions. He is a Vietnam War veteran and saw some pretty scary and awful things in his military career. Despite all that he has seen in his life he said to me, “Tom, I never thought I would say this but with all we’ve been through this year, this is the worst time I’ve ever seen.” We talked about how our parents were born just prior to the Spanish Flu pandemic in the last century and how they also lived through the Great Depression. This pandemic is for us what those may have been for our parents. As frightening and discouraging as that could sound, we realized, though, that our parents made it through and it gave us hope and confidence that we will as well. Hope and confidence is what it will take to get us through…no matter how long it lasts.
Instead of the usual closing I’m going to leave you with one last video as a New Year’s greeting from Clemencia and me to you. Let’s all work together to make 2021 a happier, healthier, and healing year for all.